C2ER Blog

LMI Institute 2016 Accomplishments

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Current LMI Institute Membership

 The LMI Institute’s membership is comprised of state LMI agencies and other professionals in LMI and related fields. Currently, 34 states and U.S. Territories are active members of the LMI Institute.

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The LMI Institute also has a growing number of affiliate members, representing workforce development professionals, community colleges, and independent researchers.

Technical Training
  • Delivered two Basic LMI Analyst courses and one Applied Analyst training course.
  • Designed and delivered a customized training course for workforce development professionals at the National Association of Workforce Boards’ (NAWB’s) Annual Conference, and a webinar series for the National Association of Workforce Development Professionals (NAWDP).
  • Hosted a monthly webinar series attracting nearly 2,000 attendees.
LMI System & Program Support
  • Provided management and training support for the Projections Managing Partnership.
  • Developed the agenda and facilitated the LMI Directors’ Town Hall Meeting at the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ (BLS) National LMI Conference in Kansas City, MO (2016).
  • Hosted the U.S. Census Bureau’s Local Employment Household Dynamics Program’s monthly webinar series.
Research
  • Conducted a research study for the Centers of Excellence for Labor Market Research (California) using Current Population Survey micro-data to develop tables for California’s working age population with either certifications or licenses to determine the prevalence of certifications and licenses in the California workforce.
  • Initiated research and technical assistance to the National Association of State Workforce Agencies’ (NASWA’s) National Labor Exchange, in partnership with CREC and is exploring avenues that will enhance the contribution of the NLx (jointly operated by NASWA and Direct Employers Association) to the effective functioning of labor markets in the United States.
Partnership Facilitation
  • Fostered and continuously improved key partnerships with the Employment and Training Administration, BLS, the Workforce Information Advisory Council (WIAC), the Analyst Resource Center, the BLS / LMI Oversight Committee, and the NASWA LMI Committee.
  • Received Census Bureau’s 2016 Innovations in Local Employment Dynamics Award.
  • Delivered conference sessions on LMI at NAWB, NAWDP, and NASWA conferences. Participated in meetings of the Friends of BLS, Workforce Data Quality Campaign, etc.

 

For more information, visit www.lmiontheweb.org
Contact: Lindsay Johnson, (703) 522-4980, x 1028, ljohnson@crec.net

C2ER 2016 Accomplishments

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During the past 12 months, the Council for Community and Economic Research, YOUR professional membership organization, has been hard at work increasing the visibility of economic, workforce, and community research by advocating for higher quality data, promoting more focused public and private investments in local data, and continuing to strengthen C2ER products and services.  We have also sought to keep you informed about new data sources, exciting research, and opportunities to learn.  Following are some of the most vital accomplishments during the past year.

Communication with Data Users and Producers

 Weekly Publication of the C2ER/LMI Institute Update

  • Monitored and summarized emerging data issues, relevant events, and recent research
  • Distributed update to more than 9,000 individuals by weekly email publication, including C2ER/ LMI Institute members, as well as targeted stakeholder contacts
  • Published blog posts on topics relevant to C2ER members, including C2ER events and economic development news and trend analysis (http://blog.c2er.org/)

Journal of Applied Research in Economic Development

  • Produced 2 specialized articles in a blog format on key issues most relevant to economic development analysts and practitioners and relaunched the Journal in October 2016

Annual Conference, Training and Certification

  • Coordinated C2ER Annual Conference, LMI Institute Annual Forum, and the Projections Managing Partnership (PMP) Summit in Minneapolis, MN, attracting more than 240 attendees for a week’s worth of programming on research leadership, practice, and related tools/techniques
  • Developed and delivered in-person training courses, including: Basic Labor Market Information Analyst, Foundations of Applied Economic Development Research, Applied Data Visualization: Moving from Theory into Practice, Leadership in Research Workshop: Developing and Managing a World-Class Research Operation, Marketing & Communicating Workforce & Economic Development Research, Data Viz Made Simple, and Applied Analyst Training.
  • Conducted 24 Webinars for C2ER, LMI Institute, PMP, the Census Bureau’s Longitudinal Employment-Household Dynamics (LEHD) program, and annual conference sponsors

Data Advocacy and National Visibility for C2ER Member Efforts

  • Served as member of BLS Data Users Advisory Committee and national partner/advisor to the Workforce Data Quality Campaign
  • Collaborated with Friends of BLS and the Census Project in federal statistical advocacy efforts
  • Meet periodically with key Census, BLS, and BEA leaders to discuss data dissemination issues and improve regional data access
  • Nominated and helped to seat successfully two current C2ER Board members and 4 other C2ER members on the newly chartered Workforce Information Advisory Committee; provided technical assistance and resource support to the WIAC
  • Participated in several Capitol Hill visits to Congressional staff representing the interests of statistical data users.
  • Signed on to several letters advocating for proper funding for Census, BLS, and BEA and supporting efforts to ensure the ACS remains mandatory.

Data Collection and Research Activities

Cost of Living Index – C2ER’s flagship data product since 1968 http://www.coli.org

  • Redesigned and published a new website in WordPress
  • Remodeled and issued 2016 County and State Level Cost of Living Index
  • Added API for the C2ER data products
  • Improved the process of library application authentication
  • Conducted online data scraping for housing and grocery items nationwide
  • Updated current basket of goods and services priced to reflect better the current consumption pattern of households
  • Partnered with COX publishing house in marketing cost of living index


C2ER State Business Incentives Database Update
http://www.stateincentives.org/

  • Maintained and updated unique summary of around 1,800 state programs designed to help businesses create jobs with 2016-2017 state legislative changes
  • Added additional programs for all U.S. states, territories, and the District of Columbia
  • Updated the State of State Business Incentives Report to reflect the latest database changes
  • Renewed the partnership with SelectUSA at the U.S. Department of Commerce to provide content to international companies seeking U.S. facility locations
  • Updated the program manager contact list based on state agency feedback


C2ER State Economic Development Program Expenditures Database Update 
http://www.stateexpenditures.org

  • Updated database for FY 2017 proposed expenditures, as well as FY 2015 actual and FY 2016 appropriated expenditures (when available), for all 50 states in the database
  • Produced brief “State of State Expenditures” for FY 2015 through FY 2017, highlighting broad national spending trends and major developments in individual states
  • Produced database glossary and made significant upgrades to the state economic development expenditure database to develop greater consistency in the reports for FY07 through FY16.


Other Policy and Economic Research and Technical Assistance

  • Facilitated day-long LMI Directors’ Town Hall at BLS National LMI Conference in Kansas City, KS
  • Initiated a two-year project on state data sharing laws, regulations and agreements for a project sponsored by Laura and John Arnold Foundation
  • Entered in to a contract with National Association of State Workforce Agencies (NASWA) to assess the data analytic opportunities that could generated by the National Labor Exchange database of job openings
  • Provided state incentives program information to the U.S. Dept. of Commerce SelectUSA program
  • Conducted research on Current Population Survey microdata about the prevalence of credentials by education level, occupation, and other workforce characteristics

 

Support the 2020 Census

We need your help.  We need you or your organization to help educate your Congressional leaders on the importance of funding the 2020 Census as well as related “periodic programs” such as the American Community Survey (ACS) and the Economic Census.

The U.S. Congress is back in session this week (November 28), and they are taking up the federal budget.  The federal government is currently funded through December 9 through a continuing resolution (CR).  Congress is expected to pass another extension through March rather than completing action through the end of the fiscal year.  Census needs attention because we are at a critical planning stage for the 2020 Census. Not only is it important to count our citizens accurately, but adequate 2020 Census funding also has potentially critical impacts on other data programs that are funded from the same program account, including the ACS and Economic Census.

First, planning for the 2020 decennial census is in a precarious funding position.  As the Census Bureau ramps up planning for 2020, the agency typically receives budget supplements to accomplish important preparatory tasks. While these tasks require funding, the CR process provides resource increases only if Congress approves a “spending anomaly” for Census, authorizing more funds.  Congress did not do this in the first CR passed in September.

In the coming fiscal year, Congress is asking the Census Bureau to complete tasks that it would not typically have to undertake outside the 2020 Census planning cycle.  For instance, the Bureau must test and submit topics for both the 2020 Census and the American Community Survey and begin testing alternative data collection methods designed to drive down overall costs for the 10-year cycle. Census is also testing new information technology systems and completing a dry run in 2018. Census is also seeking other ways to hold costs down, including using Internet responses – an option it could not use in 2010 due to lack of funding that ironically ultimately increased the cost of the Census.  The irony is that insufficient funds now could lead to cost overruns later in the 2020 planning cycle.

The Census is funded from a program account that includes the American Community Survey and the Economic Census.  Overruns in the 2020 census implementation could threaten these two critically important programs.  ACS is the only source of granular information about demographics available annually by community that not only Congressional leaders use to understand their districts but that economic and workforce developers use to recruit companies and serve jobseekers.  The Economic Census is the primary data source about business buying and selling activity that we use for econometric models explaining multiplier impacts and a key source for understanding clusters and supply chains.

We are asking you to reach out in 3 ways in the next two weeks:

  1. Contact your Congressional office to let them know how important this issue is to you or your organization’s efforts.  It would be helpful if you could provide 1 or 2 examples of how these data help your organization create jobs and put people to work more efficiently.
  2. Share this call to action with your state or local network; ask your colleagues to reach out as well.
  3. Feel free to blind copy us on any appeals you make on Census’ behalf.

Support for the 2020 Census is vital, not only to ensuring we have an accurate and complete count of Americans but also to ensure that programs such as the American Community Survey and the Economic Census are protected.

Thank you in advance for your help!  We will keep you up-dated on what Congress ultimately decides to do.

The Commission on Evidence-Based Policy Wants to Hear from You!

The Commission on Evidence-Based Policy wants to hear from you. The Commission is soliciting input from stakeholders on issues relevant to the Commission’s charge, established in Public Law 114-140. We are interested in hearing about data access issues, barriers to research, issues related to the capacity of states to engage in data and evidence building and issues related to privacy and confidentiality.

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C2ER 2016 – 2017 Board Announcement

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Deidre Myers Begins Term as Chair of the Council for Community and Economic Research (C2ER)

Arlington VA – Deidre Myers, Principal of the Myers Group, LLC, was elected chair of the Council for Community and Economic Research (C2ER) for a term beginning July 2016 through June 2017.

Myers is the co-owner and principal of The Myers Group, LLC which provides professional consulting services to industry, non-profit and public organizations. She specializes in economic, community and workforce analysis.

Deidre Myers previously served as the Deputy Secretary of Workforce Development, heading the Oklahoma Office of Workforce Development. The Office managed and administered the Department of Labor WIOA funds for the state of Oklahoma, advised and supported the Governor’s Council for Workforce and Economic Development, and led numerous statewide initiatives to grow and upskill the state’s workforce. Myers also managed state economic and community development programs; directed a national project for the Corporation for National and Community Service; administered the state of Massachusetts AmeriCorps program; and served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Cameroon.

Myers is a certified community researcher and completed her undergraduate studies in History, Religion and French at Oklahoma State University and her graduate work at the University of Oklahoma in Economics and Public Policy.

 

Other C2ER officers for 2016 – 2017 include:

Chair-Elect

George Harben, Director of Existing Business, Prince William County Department of Economic Development, Manassas, VA

Vice Chair

Jennifer Zeller, Manager, Research, Engineering and Creative Services, Georgia Power Community and Economic Development, Atlanta, GA

Secretary-Treasurer

Alan Spell, Economic & Workforce Research Manager, Missouri Economic Research and Information Center, Jefferson City, MO

Immediate Past Chair

Drew Conrad, Director, Institute for Decision Making, University of Northern Iowa, Cedar Falls, IA

 

Newly Elected C2ER board members whose terms expire in 2019 include:

Bob Ball, Economist/ Director of Research, Tulsa Regional Chamber, Tulsa, OK

 Denise Hanna, Market Research Manager, Arkansas Economic Development Commission, Little Rock, AR

Jason Palmer, Director, Michigan Bureau of Labor Market Information & Strategic Initiatives, Detroit, MI

Carol Rogers, Deputy Director + CIO, Indiana Business Research Center, Indiana University, Indianapolis, IN

 

C2ER was created in 1961 as a membership organization to promote excellence in community and economic research by working to improve data availability, enhance data quality, and foster learning about regional economic analytic methods. The organization is highly regarded for its research, professional training, networking, and advocacy on behalf of public statistics

 

 

Puerto Rico Featured in Quarter 1, 2016 Cost of Living Index

The Council for Community and Economic Research (C2ER) is happy to announce the release of the Quarter 1, 2016 Cost of Living Index (COLI) publication. This is the first publication to feature San Juan, Puerto Rico in the official publication. 2016 marks the second year San Juan has participated in COLI’s data collection process. Grocery and utility prices appear to be the highest in the city, almost 30 and 70 percent above the U.S. national average, respectively. The Puerto Rico Institute of Statistics has assumed the responsibility of collecting the data.

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Getting “Within WIOA” at the C2ER Conference and LMI Institute Forum

Akin to the spirit of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), the 2016 C2ER Annual Conference and LMI Institute Forum bring together economic and workforce development practitioners to enable the development of data- and job-driven strategies that foster local and regional economic growth. At the Conference and Forum, you will have many opportunities to learn from peers from across the country about their experiences, lessons, and successes related to WIOA implementation.

Sector Strategies

WIOA requires states to develop, convene, or implement sector strategies. Collecting and analyzing relevant and reliable labor market and workforce information ensures that sector strategies are aligned with local needs for in-demand sectors and occupations. The “Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act – Part I: Targeting Industries” session will explore employer-driven partnerships between industry, educators, and other actors to address urgent workforce needs. This session will be moderated by Stephanie McGarrah, a Senior Strategy Consultant for the UNC Health Care System, and will feature Deidre Myers, President of The Myers Group, LLC, and Hillary Huffer, Labor Market Information Manager for the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing & Regulation.

In-Demand Occupations and Skills

Identifying in-demand occupations is at the foundation of WIOA, but pinpointing the skills required for those occupations is also of utmost importance to a dynamic and high-functioning workforce system. The “Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act – Part II: Matching Skills and Jobs” session will examine both the demand and supply sides of this challenge by analyzing the perceived skills gap and reviewing research tips and techniques to determine whether industries truly have the skills they need. This session will be moderated by Lesley Hirsh, Director of the NYC Labor Market Information Service at the CUNY Graduate Center, Center for Urban Research, and will include experiences from Nebraska and Utah’s LMI offices.

Labor Market Information (LMI) and Program Evaluation

Another important aspect of WIOA is that it makes significant new demands for labor market information and economic evaluation, and therefore creates opportunities for researchers of all stripes to develop and extend capacities to support the public workforce system. During the “Data Tools Roundtable” session, you can engage in a dialogue to learn more about research needs and resources, as well as to brainstorm “entrepreneurial opportunities” for your organization to help provide data and analysis to local and state workforce boards. This session will be moderated by Adrienne Johnston, Director of the Bureau of Labor Market Statistics for the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, and will feature Steve Hine, Research Director for the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development.

This year’s C2ER Annual Conference and LMI Institute Forum focus on the global impact of regional partnerships, and managers from around the U.S. will gather to discuss topics facing industries, the economy, and the talent pool. We will take time during trainings to show trends in data-visualization software and discuss best practices. We invite you to visit the conference site and view the preliminary agenda to learn more.

Video: Applied Data Visualization and Moving from Theory into Practice

One of the best ways to better interpret data, make decisions, and get your message across is to use a visualization that quickly draws attention to sometimes surprising patterns and observations that are not always apparent.

Data visualization, a wide term that applies to visual representations that attempt to help viewers better understand data, can be used to help broader audiences understand and digest complicated data.

This year’s Council for Community and Economic Research Conference (C2ER) and LMI Institute Forum is focused on the global impact of regional partnerships, and managers from around the U.S. will gather to discuss topics facing industries, the economy, and the talent pool. We will take time during trainings to show trends in data-visualization software and discuss best practices. We invite you to visit our event site and view the preliminary agenda to learn more.

Managers to Merge in Minneapolis: Who You’ll See at the 2016 C2ER Conference

This year’s Council for Community and Economic Research Conference (C2ER) and LMI Institute Forum is focused on the global impact of regional partnerships, and managers from around the U.S. will gather to discuss topics facing industries, the economy, and the talent pool.

The conference takes place June 6-10 in Minneapolis. Classes, presentations, and breakout sessions are designed to guide state, national, and regional-level managers that want to be better enabled to make positive impacts both at home and abroad. Frequently, the people we work with and speak come from organizations that either provide strategic international partnerships or are growing their own understanding about globalization’s regional affects on their daily business.

The fundamental reality is that promoting an active global perspective among labor-supply specialists, economic developers, and researchers is essential to developing sustainable regional partnerships. Globally focused relationships and mindsets give leaders the foundations needed for international collaboration that addresses the greatest challenges in producing jobs and improving workforce quality.

C2ER and the LMI Institute, Leaders in the Field:

For 56 years, C2ER and the LMI Institute have brought together chamber leaders, administrators at government agencies and universities, data and labor-market experts, administrators at economic-development and utility firms, and consulting directors. Economic researchers and labor market specialists have added value to their state and municipal agencies after attending the event. We invite you to visit our event site and view the preliminary agenda to learn more.

Addressing the Skills Gap Starts in Your Own Office

NP Employees

A survey from the Chronicle of Higher Education shows that government and nonprofit employers have a more-difficult time with recent-graduate hires. Most of the issues cited involve “soft skills.”

Of the 700 employers in the survey who offered feedback on specific troubles they experienced with recent grads, most mentioned communication and critical thinking. Specifically, the employers stated that they often find candidates who cannot put ideas forward, support those concepts, and build upon them. “Soft skills” don’t just stop with communication and critical thinking. They include collaboration and respect for diversity. All too often, these people skills are becoming the value-add for new hires.

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